Focus on education pays off for University of Limerick and garda members

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Focus on education pays off for University of Limerick and garda members

Pictured are the second cohort of garda students graduate

MORE than 30 members of An Garda Siochana were among those to graduate from the University of Limerick last week.

The 33 members, who were part of the second cohort of instructors from the Garda College, each received the Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship following a two-year course.

“These instructors have come from the force, operating within all of the different areas of An Garda Siochana, and are now based in Templemore teaching,”  explained Dr Mary Fitzpatrick, acting dean of teaching and learning at UL.

“This programme allows them to validate their expertise in teaching their area of discipline to the next wave of garda recruits,” she added 

The Specialist Diploma in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship was developed in response to the proposed framework for mapping professional development in higher education from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning.

It provides graduates with high-level, scholarly, practice-based professional development to ensure competence in the areas of teaching, learning and scholarship within their professional contexts.

The members of An Garda Siochana who graduated are now equipped with a range of skills, competencies, insights and capacities which will ensure that they bring the highest quality teaching and learning experiences to the students at Templemore’s Garda College.

Dr Fitzpatrick described the close connection established between UL and the Garda Training College in Templemore as “fantastic”.

“It has been absolutely wonderful to work with the Garda College to develop this bespoke course since 2014. It has been a very fruitful relationship all round,” she outlined.

The programme was initially designed for UL academics but then customised to suit the Garda Training College and Inspector Patrick Guinan said: “The link between UL and An Garda Siochana is essential at the moment as UL accredits the BA in Applied Policing where the relationship is fundamental in underpinning the work done at the Garda College.”

As serving members, Friday’s 33 graduates undertook their course while also fulfilling the requirements of their full-time jobs and Insp Guinan said that the reward was “huge” as it now accredits these tutors in the work done at Templemore.  

“This really validates their teaching as they bring their work life experience into the role. They can convey their operational experience to Garda recruits in a manner that is hugely beneficial after the learning achieved at UL,” he said.

The UL president Dr Des Fitzgerald has described last week’s conferrings as a very special week for everyone associated with the university.